Tag Archives: Cambodia

Khmer Rouge Defendant Blames Nixon

The legacy of Richard Nixon lives on years after his death and the legacy of Henry Kissinger is once again defamed by his bloody hands of war. Kaing Guek Eav–Duch-the defendant in the Cambodian genocide trial says the policies of Nixon and Kissinger allowed the Khmer Rouge to gain power when they were on the verge of dying out. Nixon’s ill fated decision in 1970 to drag Cambodia into the Vietnam war and to overthrow the government of Prince Nordom Sihanuouk placed in power General Non Lol. Sihanouk then allied with the Khmer Rouge which allowed them to become a revitalized force and eventually to seize power and then unleash their genocidal atrocities.

The defendant ran the main jail and is responsible for his actions. Unfortunately, the United States has never placed Henry Kissinger on trial for his actions in the Vietnam War. Instead, he is allowed to wander the land making money.

Dealing With The Horror Of Cambodia and Khmer Rouge

The history of inhumane treatment of people in the twentieth century ranks the murder of 1.8 million people in Cambodia by the infamous Khmer Rouge as among the most brutal. Khmer Rouge slaughtered their own people on spurious charges of being “internal enemies” because they had some education or owned a business or had a farm or said the wrong thing to the wrong person. Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Comrade Duch is on trial for his war crimes. How does one “punish” a man who helped to kill 14,000 people at the Tuoi Sleng prison, most of whom were tortured and brutalized even in death. “My current plea is that I would like you to please leave an open window for me to seek forgiveness” he pleaded with the few who were still alive. Even as he spoke, Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge official, dismissed the trial as a waste of money. “I wish the court would have a budget shortfall as soon as possible.”

The problem with these trials is executing Eav is a meager way to deal with the terror that was imposed upon the people of Cambodia. The 1.8 million are dead and these pathetic old men who are still alive have long since lost the ability to instill fear among the living. He is a pathetic creature of the night who will soon die, and the wounds of death will linger.

Can Buddhism Be Fun?

The Prime Minister of Cambodia halted his work in order to address one of the most important issues facing his nation– can the people of his land laugh while they are dealing with Buddhism? Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the dispute which has arisen over the controversial play, “Where Elephants Weep” which infused Broadway themes into a story dealing with Buddhism. Hun Sen was blunt when he made clear, “Buddhism cannot be made into something fun. in the future, we will not allow this problem to happen again.” From now on authors, and playwrights and directors will have to wipe that smile from their face when they do anything connected with Buddhism. After all, religion is a serious business.

I wonder if Buddha ever smiled while he was engaged in discussing issues of importance. I have a hunch, there might have been a slight grin on his face if he listened to the anger in the voice of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Human Rights Under Fire In Cambodia

The nation of Cambodia has endured over the past thirty years horrors such as few places have witnessed in recent times. Despite the end of the cruel Pol Pot murderers, Cambodians still have not been able to create a society in which free speech is a given, not a gift. The Cambodian human rights group, Licadho said those who seek to defend the rights of their countrymen live in dread of their lives. “Cambodia is a dangerous place for human rights defenders. Throughout 2007, the patterns of threats and attacks observed in previous years have continued and intensified.” The group said the situation now made it perilous for any lawyer who undertook defense of individual rights.

Licadho pointed out union leader Hy Vuthy was murdered and the activist monk Tim
Sakhorn was kidnapped and deported for opposing the government. When asked about Hy Vuthy’s murder, Phnom Penh’s police chief responded by saying “we know the identify of the suspects and our police are always on the alert” but for some strange reason they don’t seem too much in a hurry to arrest any suspects. No arrest warrants have ever been issued in regard to the murder.

Hopefully, one day, Cambodians can live in a society in which free speech is not an endanger species.

Marriage In Cambodia Or Human Trafficking?

Several days ago we reported on the dramatic rise in marriage between poor women in Cambodia and South Korean males. Most of the South Koreans tend to come from working class backgrounds and they were seeking women who were both attractive and subservient. The government of Cambodia has decided to suspend all such marriages for the time being while it conducts an investigation. IN 2004, just 72 South Korean males married a woman from Cambodia, last year the figure rose to 1,759. A spokesperson for the Women’s Affairs Ministry, You Ay, said: “The government has temporarily suspended all (paperwork) for Cambodia women to marry foreigners.” She stated quite bluntly, “this suspension is to prevent human trafficking through marriage.”

This is one of those sensitive issues since for many of the women marrying a man from South Korea offers an opportunity to rise econonmically in the world. A key issue is whether they are entering a marriage or are they entering a form of work.

Cambodian Government Halts Darfur Ceremony

American actress Mia Farrow expressed shock and bewilderment at actions by the government of Cambodia to block a ceremony at a former Khmer Rouge prison which was designed to highlight the crisis in Darfur where people are being brutalized by Sudan troops. “It is pretty harsh to be against a ceremony that honors the victims of Darfur and genocide survivors everywhere,” she said. “Frankly, I’m a little bewildered.” Farrow and other activists will procedd with the ceremony and hold it at the prison gates of the infamous Tuoi Sieng torture facility. She is working with a U.S. based advocacy group, ‘Dream For Darfur,’ which is staging a mock Olympic torch-lighting ceremony at the former prison to send a message to China, a major provider of arms to the Sudan government. The Cambodian government claims it opposes the ceremony because it is a “political message” against China.

China is a strong supporter of the Cambodian government and a strong suppporter of the brutal Sudan regime. Cambodia, of all the nations of the world, knows the experience of having a brutal government in power which mistreats its citizens. The world should simply boycott the Olympics until China ceasing aiding the Sudan government.0